To April with love.

We are blessed to have three wonderful children that are now “real adults” !  Our middle daughter April just purchased a new home in Dedham. She and her husband Matt have been busy getting settled into their wonderful new home. April shares my love of gardening. She had a small garden on her roof top in Boston but now has room to expand and refine her gardening skills. She has been asking me many gardening questions and sending me pictures about the flowers in her garden. I decided that I would write three different posts to each of our children that are inspired and written with love. The title I decided upon reminded  me of an old song – “To Sir with Love”- guess that kinda dates me!

But what does an old song have to do with April you might ask? I love my gardens at both of our Cape Cod Inns, Brewster by the Sea and Captain Freeman Inn. Many of the perennial flowers that I have were transplanted from my Mom’s garden back in the Berkshires. When we moved to the Cape 10 years ago my mother was very patient to teach me all of the names of her favorite flowers.I decided to share with April a list of what I have learned…..a wonderful tradition of passing on family favorites. And so my love, this is what I have learned since being a happy gardener on Cape Cod. I am always here to help sow your own gardens.


Spring is my absolute favorite season and it’s always so special when you see the first flowers bloom. In the fall it’s fun to plant plenty of bulbs, including crocuses, hyacinths, daffodils and tulips around the yard.


Early summer bring beautiful Peonies and Siberian Iris and my new favorite Lupins. They come in many beautiful colors including pink and lavender.

Lupin at brewster by the Sea

Lupin at Brewster by the Sea

In June I plant several different kinds of annuals that provide beautiful color in the garden throughout the summer. My favorites are zinnias, snap dragons and cosmos. The Cosmos in this picture are just baby transplants. By July they will be tall and add much color to the garden.

Cosmos transplants

Cosmos transplants

We have a weeping dogwood in our yard and I am forever in love with that flower. I see several large dogwood trees close to the inn that I admire each year.

July brings beautiful roses, white daisies (a family favorite), cone flower, phlox, and lilies.

Roses in front of the gazebo

Roses in front of the gazebo

Some of our other favorites are Hollyhocks, Black eyed Susans, Coral Bells, Astilbe, Bleeding Heart, Delphiniums, Foxglove.

I also love Butterfly Weed – Asciepias tuberose- a large aromatic bush that is irresistible to butterflies.

We have a corner of our back yard that includes many ferns. It loves shade and is very easy to maintain.

Every lamp post should have a clematis growing around it.



Hydrangeas grow naturally on the Cape. With a little fertilizer and soil adjustment they can grow happily in other areas.


When we first purchased the inn we bought several packages of dahlia bulbs. We planted them in the spring by digging several deep trenches and filling them with a combination of chicken manure, compost and peat moss. The dahlia blooms in late summer and is a stunning flower which hold up well to bring inside as a cut flower arrangement. They are a little more work as you will need to dig them up in late fall and store in a cool place over the winter months.

Always looking for fall color and Sedum is a nice choice in the garden.  It stays green for most of the summer and then the flower turns this beautiful shade of pink in the fall.


And on to my favorite part……how do we keep our gardens healthy. As Nanna would say “You need to feed your gardens twice a year” Ths mixture should always include the dirt form your compost pile mixed in with some type of manure and peat moss to lighten the soil. I use this mixture whenever I plant something new and spread it around all of our old perennials.

It’s always fun to walk around your local nursery and choose some fun new  plants to experiment with. I  never plan what I am going to place in our pots and boxes and let my creativity go wild as I walk around the garden center in the spring. (Some years are better than others:)

And so my love I wish you many years of happy gardening. I am always close bye to help as Nanna has been for me. Much love, Mom

3 thoughts on “To April with love.

  1. What a beautiful picture to greet me on this rainy, gloomy Andrea day at the coast of NC. One question, is the butterfly weed suitable to a NC climate? Fondly, Joanna Anderson, Jim says hi also.

    • Hi Joanna,

      Thanks for your comments. I really enjoyed writing this blog. I would think the butterfly weed would grow just fine in your area. It’s very hearty and likes full sun. We have several different varieties at both inns.

      Love to you both, Donna

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